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"Rabbi Hillel Lichtenstein was the architect of the ultra-Orthodox manifesto, the famous nine-point pesak din of Michalowitz (Michalovce, Nagymihály) issued by 24 rabbis from northeastern Hungarian communities in the autumn of 1865. The document addressed the indecisiveness of many Orthodox rabbis when confronted with synagogue innovations that were halakhicly not strictly forbidden. "

Source: http://www.yivoencyclopedia.org/article.aspx/Lichtenstein_Hillel

What were the nine points?

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From Wikipedia, the 9 proscribed items are:

  1. Sermonizing in the vernacular or listening to a sermon in the vernacular
  2. Praying in a synagogue that doesn't have the platform for reading the Torah in the middle
  3. Making a synagogue in [the shape of] a tower1
  4. Reserving a special uniform for the sh'li'ach tzibur or singing like other religions do
  5. Using a transparent divider between men and women or entering a place that has such a divider
  6. Listening to, answering "amen" to, or praying with an organ2
  7. Stepping foot in a synagogue with an organ, even in an emergency
  8. Having a marriage ceremony in the synagogue3
  9. Generally changing synagogue practice

Here is a copy of the list.


1 This is intended to avoid resembling a church.

2 I don't speak German or Yiddish, but I assume that קאהר שיל means sprachohr.

3 . . .or indoors at all.

  • Thank you for the link. The translation is lacking. In issur number two the problem is if the bimah, where the Torah is read from, is not in the middle of the shul. This point is strongly maintained in the Igros Moshe as well. In issur #3 the problem is making the synagogue in a tower, apparently copying the church. Also in #8, to clarify, the problem is having an indoor marriage ceremony. – user6591 Sep 4 '14 at 15:19
  • 1
    Maybe noachmifrankurt can tell us what a kar cuch & kar shul is. – user6591 Sep 4 '14 at 15:22
  • @user6591 Feel free to edit in your corrections! Are you sure about #3? – WAF Sep 5 '14 at 21:58
  • Quite certain. בית הכנסת במגדל means a shul in a tower. A tower in a shul would be מגדל בבית הכנסת. I'm assuming מגדל, tower, means a steeple being that many of the edicts seem to be against making the shul more church-like. – user6591 Sep 7 '14 at 2:38
  • I can confirm the corrections of user6591. And thanks for the answer WAF and Shokhet ! – mie Sep 7 '14 at 11:08

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